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NewsClick founder and HR head, arrested under UAPA in connection with Chinese funding, move Delhi HC challenging their arrest

NewsClick editor Prabir Purkayastha and the website's HR head Amit Chakraborty were arrested on October 3 and subsequently remanded to seven days of police custody by a Delhi court on October 4th.

On Friday (October 6), NewsClick editor Prabir Purkayastha and the website’s Human Resources (HR) head Amit Chakraborty moved the Delhi High Court challenging their arrest in the case of Chinese funding and seeking quashing of the FIR registered against them under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Ex-Congress loyalists and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal will be appearing before the bench of the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court on behalf of Amit Chakravarty and Purkayastha. The Court has agreed to hear the matter today.

The duo was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on Tuesday (October 3) and subsequently remanded to seven days of police custody by a Delhi court on October 4th.

The arrest came after the Delhi Police conducted raids on the homes of several journalists and employees linked to NewsClick. The Delhi Police had registered a fresh case under UAPA, other than the ED case, as per reports. UAPA is related to charges under terrorist activities and terror funding.

As per reports, some of the evidence uncovered during the ED investigation demanded premises of investigation that are beyond the authority of the ED. Hence a fresh case has been filed under UAPA and a Delhi Police investigation has been initiated.

It is pertinent to note that NewsClick has been under the scanner for illicit foreign funding since the year 2021 – when Abhisar Sharma was working for the portal as well. Teesta Setalvad and Gautam Navlakha were also accused of taking funds from China that were obtained through newsClick.

Crackdown on NewsClick

On 3rd October (late at night), a Delhi court sent Newsclick founder and editor Prabir Purkayastha to a 7-day police remand. HR head of the controversial news portal, Amit Chakravarty, has also been sent to police custody for seven days after being quizzed for hours.

The Delhi Police arrested both of them on 3rd October under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The special cell of the Delhi Police had registered an FIR in the matter on 17th August under Sections 13, 16, 17, 18, and 22 of the UAPA and Sections 153A and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the news portal.

On 3rd October, the NewsClick office was raided and sealed by Delhi Police in connection to the case regarding foreign funding from China to propagate anti-India narratives. Apart from locations linked to NewsClick, the residences of 40 journalists were also raided by Delhi Police across the country as they were connected to the news portal. Teesta Setalvad, Abhisar Sharma, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yetchury, Sanjay Rajoura, and others were among those who faced action by the Delhi Police.

Reports suggest that around 46 people were questioned by the Delhi police, and their electronic devices and documents were seized during the raids for examination. The investigation against Newsclick for allegedly receiving funds from China started in 2021. In August 2023, a New York Times investigation also revealed that the portal received funds from China via businessman Neville Roy Singham.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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